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BPGP: IS Clinical Active Serum

The good ladies (and gentlemen) over at Jezebel are publishing a great series called “Worth It” detailing not only the beauty products that they use, but the ones that they buy with their own money.  This is helpful, because in a world where freebies abound, it’s difficult to know whether a magazine editor, beauty blogger or Twitter pal is actually touting a product because they love it or because someone gave it to them for free. 

Not all bloggers take the FTC regulations seriously, and why should they? Since magazine editors, who impact far more purchasers and get far more swag than all the beauty bloggers put together, don’t have to disclose a damn thing.  But I digress…

A few weeks back, Jenna Sauers posted about her love for IS Clinical Active Serum (SkinStore.com, $128 + 15% off).  The serum, she proclaimed, did a superb job of banishing acne, especially for women with combination skin.

As you know, I’m a sucker for any product that promises to kill the dreaded zits, so I bought a bottle.  Adios, credit card self-control.

I’ve been using this product for about two weeks, and I feel comfortable giving it a B+ on the acne banishing scale.

Yes, the product will help your acne.  I used it for four days, every night and my skin was starting to turn around.  The trouble was, it was also getting really dry.  So I had to cut back. 

Now, I use the serum only on already formed acne.  It certainly shrinks them down a bit and reduces redness, but I don’t feel like I’m getting the full benefit if I can’t use it everywhere.  And that is really depressing.

A bit like watching someone else eat a luscious french silk pie and all you can have is crust.

Also, if you’re going to give this product a whirl, I need to offer you two pieces of advice:

1) Make sure your face is sparkling clean before you apply it.  If there is even a drop of moisturizer, serum, etc. on your face when you apply it, it will not work.  How do you know it’s not working?

You won’t feel the “active” tingling when you apply it.  It’s the tingle that tells you it’s working.

2) Immediately after you apply it, wash your hands.  And I mean immediately.

The same active ingredient that causes the light tingling sensation will also cause a more-than-light tingling sensation on lips, eyelids, ear lobes, and the delicate bits of skin under your nose.  So unless you want to feel like you just got a swirly in a tub of Ben-Gay, wash your hands.

All in all, I think that this product has a lot of promise and I plan to keep using it.  But if you have very sensitive skin or rosacea, I would not recommend it.  And you certainly don’t need to use a lot of it, so that $128 dollar vial should last three months or so.


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  1. Ash says:


    I too have combination skin with a few spots on my chin that I swear never go away. I was a long time user of Philosophy's Purity Made Simple, a light day time lotion (to combat the oiliness from the night cream) and a heavy night time cream (to combat the dryness from the cleanser). I used Ole Henriksen's Daily Defense Gel to try to keep the acne at bay.

    A few months ago it clicked for me- none of this is working. I needed to start from the ground up instead of continuously adding new products. I've FINALLY found my skincare dream team. I use Fresh's Soy face cleanser with my Clarisonic twice a day. After cleansing I use Dior's Purifying toner for normal/combination skin. I follow with Dior's HydraLife Pro-Youth Sorbet Creme. And spot treat any little bumps with DDF Acne Control Treatment Salicylic Acid Acne Medication. Honestly, my skin has never looked better. For me, streamlining my routine has made all the difference!

    September 13, 2011/Reply
  2. iS CLINICAL says:

    Thanks for your review Belle! I would like to offer some suggestions on the proper use of Active Serum. It should not be drying at all, so I am wondering what other products you might be using…including the cleanser. If your skin is dry, I would add Hydra-Cool Serum to your skincare diet. Send me an email. Would love to get some info to you!

    September 20, 2011/Reply